Getting Caught Up – Book Mail December 2022

Lots of book mail to share from this month so far! Thanks to the mentioned publishers for any gifted copies in exchange for my honest review

THE 12TH COMMANDMENT – Daniel Torday (Releasing January 17th, 2023 – Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted copy)

Swirling with secrets and their consequences, exploring how revelation and redemption might be accessed through sin, and driven through twists and turns toward a startling conclusion, The 12th Commandment is a brilliant novel by award-winning author Daniel Torday.

The Dönme sect—a group of Jewish-Islamic adherents with ancient roots—lives in an isolated community on rural land outside of smalltown Mt. Izmir, Ohio. Self-sustaining, deeply-religious, and heavily-armed, they have followed their self-proclaimed prophet, Natan of Flatbush, from Brooklyn to this new land.

But the brutal murder of Natan’s teenage son throws their tight community into turmoil.

When Zeke Leger, a thirty-year-old writer at a national magazine, arrives from New York for the funeral of a friend, he becomes intrigued by the case, and begins to report on the murder. His college girlfriend Johanna Franklin prosecuted the case, and believes it is closed. Before he knows it, Zeke becomes entangled in the conflict between the Dönme, suspicious local citizens, Johanna, and the law—with dangerous implications for his body and his soul.

ADRIFT – Lisa Brideau (Releasing May 9th, 2023 – Thanks to Sourcebooks for the gifted copy)

The truth doesn’t always set you free…

Ess wakes up alone on a sailboat in the remote Pacific Northwest with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She finds a note, but it’s more warning than comfort: Start over. Don’t make yourself known. Don’t look back.

Ess must have answers. She sails over a turbulent ocean to a town hundreds of miles away that, she hopes, might offer insight. The chilling clues she uncovers point to a desperate attempt at erasing her former life. But why? And someone is watching her…someone who knows she must never learn her truth.

In Ess’s world, the earth is precariously balanced at a climate tipping point, and she is perched at the edge of a choice: which life does she want? The one taken from her―and the dangerous secret that was buried―or the new one she can make for herself?

A galvanizing riddle that is just as unmooring as it seems, this sharp character-driven odyssey explores a future challenged by our quickly changing world and the choices we must make to save what matters most.

THE HOUSE IN THE PINES – Ana Reyes (Releasing January 3rd, 2023 – Thanks to Dutton Books for the gifted copy)

A captivating psychological suspense debut about a young woman still haunted by her childhood best friend’s death who learns of an eerily similar incident and must find her way back to a cabin in the New England woods, armed with only hazy memories, to finally uncover the truth that has eluded her.

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been hanging around with all summer. Seven years later, Maya is just managing to move on; she lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret Klonopin habit that’s allowed her to cope with what happened all those years ago.

But her past comes to haunt her when she discovers a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged back into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her small Berkshires hometown to figure out the truth.

With guidance from a half-written book by the father in Guatemala she never knew, Maya’s quest for answers forces her to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her, and the jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey—finally leading her to Frank’s cabin in the woods.

The House in the Pines is an utterly unique and surprising thriller about the subtlety of memory and manipulation, confronting the past and returning home, and the powerful and lasting bonds of family and friendship.

GHOSTS OF THE ORPHANAGE: A STORY OF MYSTERIOUS DEATHS, A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, AND A SEARCH FOR JUSTICE – Christine Kenneally (Releasing May 23rd, 2023 – Thanks to Public Affairs Books and Novel Suspects for the gifted copy)

The shocking secret history of twentieth-century orphanages—which for decades hid violence, abuse, and deaths within their walls.

For much of the twentieth century, a series of terrible events—abuse, both physical and psychological, and even deaths—took places inside orphanages. The survivors have been trying to tell their astonishing stories for a long time, but disbelief, secrecy, and trauma have kept them from breaking through. For ten years, Christine Kenneally has been on a quest to uncover the harrowing truth.

Centering her story on St. Joseph’s, a Catholic orphanage in Vermont, Kenneally has written a stunning account of a series of crimes and abuses. But her work is not confined to one place. Following clues that take her into the darkened corners of several institutions across the globe, she finds a trail of terrifying stories and a courageous group of survivors who are seeking justice. Ghosts of the Orphanage is an incredible true crime story and a reckoning with a past that has stayed buried for too long, with tragic consequences.

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